The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"The latter half of the twentieth century we saw something of a renaissance [among Greek writers, artists, and intellectuals]. But in the twenty-first century all this has dissolved because of the economic and cultural crisis and because of the domination of Germany. Germany has inflicted a second occupation, this time economic and cultural in the negative sense." Nanos Valaoritis • The Rumpus

"What I remember most of all is washing Leo Tolstoy’s ears. The year is 1989, the mornings of revolution, the year when my birth country begins to fall apart. His ears are larger than my head; I am standing on the shoulders of a boy who is standing on the shoulders of another boy." Ilya Kaminsky • New York Times

"[I]t really depends on context—where you’re performing, whose agenda, what’s the audience. We had one concert in Harare gardens in the formative years of MDC. We had this piece Chinja Napken (Change the Nappy) and the whole crowd raised their palms with the MDC symbol, you know? And at the end of the piece, I said: 'This is not about politics, it’s all about hygiene. Change your baby’s diapers when they are soiled.' And everyone says: 'Ah! Iwe mhani unofunga kuti takapusa here?' ('Do you think we are stupid?') And everyone was laughing." Chirikure Chirikure in conversation with Netsayi Chigwendere • Chimurenga Chronic
"It was chosen because someone at the University thought it was faintly inspiring and, knowing nothing about either Kipling or Biko, didn’t think about how jarring the association was. It’s public poetry as a close cousin to those inane posters with a cat hanging off a branch and the words “Hang in there!” written on them. We can only be grateful the university officials didn’t paint “there’s no problem you can’t beat” on the walls." Stephen Bush New Statesman
"The five poems by Charles Mungoshi crawl all over you like ants from the underworld. As you read his poems you have a feeling that you are working your difficult way around boulders, towards some treasure." Memory Chirere on contemporary Zimbabwean poetry • African Writing Online
"But when the publisher’s blurb on the cover of Heavy Years says that Augustus Young the prolific writer of poetry, prose and plays “worked as an epidemiologist for thirty years,” isn’t it a bit like saying Lemuel Gulliver was Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral? At any rate, “Augustus” has disappeared from the pages of Heavy Years: the narrator is nameless, so readers can no longer assume that he and the author are the same. In the gap all kinds of games become possible: the pseudonym as a literary device contributes to the reader’s almost subliminal sense of bewilderment." Marianne Mays Fortnightly Review
"[I]t matters that we have the words to describe the things we are going through. Writing has been important to me because that’s where I go to figure things out or hear what others are saying. So, for all the words that I cannot make to describe what I am going through, I go to other poets and writers to see if they have come up with the words. This helps me understand racism, sexism or the idea that spaces can be gendered. People who are whites have never needed to protect themselves from anything, so in trying to protect ourselves from things we need to name the experiences." Vuyelwa Maluleke in conversation with Gaamangwe Mogawi • Africa in Dialogue
"In the moving poem On Not Having Children, Nick Laird singles out words that have the distinction of not reproducing themselves in rhyme: “and there are words that lack rhymes: silver; month;/ depth; false. It makes them immune to doggerel/ but also to the ballad form”. He has an ear for what language betrays and, in the beautiful Incantation, for its fidelities." Kate Kellaway Observer
"I believe that art has intrinsic value in itself, and that the creation of art should be a necessary feature of any society. I believe, therefore, that the arts should be subsidized if they cannot sustain themselves along the typical market values of capitalist societies. The challenge was always going to be to find the funds to make this possible." Kwame Dawes in conversation with Matthew Daddona • Lit Hub
"As with so much else in this writing, the tenderness can unfold into very precise reflections on, for example, language, and this is case with Malroux. Cole comments on her translation of a phrase from Stevens, ‘In French, there exists no separate word to describe the total, essential , or particular being of a person (the individual self) other than the word for ‘me,’ the objective case of ‘I.’" Ian Pople The Manchester Review
"[S]omething now being called African poetry is not served well by being framed through an ill-defined African orality combined with an equally ill-defined U.S. hip hop tradition (there are, after all, many hip hop traditions)." Keguro Macharia • New Inquiry
"I come from what used to be a country of jungles. Please don’t mind me my forest (clichéd) metaphor: Tradition is the roots of the great tree; it is nurtured by its special situation, condition and make-up. A literature of genuine character and uniqueness will help to enrich world literature. So I think we have to keep the uniqueness all the time and help enrich each other. But of course even a tree changes and evolves, finding its place and special meaning in a changing situation. If it does not find this meaning it will become irrelevant." Muhammad Haji Salleh in conversation with Mohammad A. Quayum • Postcolonial Text
"The writers I admire most are involved in a kind of sensitive and sensual labor, rather than a self-consciously political practice. I worry sometimes that affect drops out of the conversation when we focus on the political aspects of the art. Or maybe the affect becomes flattened out into mere outrage, or melancholia." Srikanth Reddy in conversation with Lucy Ives • Triple Canopy
"John Ashbery wrote that Joan Murray is by definition a poet of 'uncollectedness', of incompleteness. It seems to me that she captures a kind of exquisite isolation–a 'distant majesty'. A 'ridiculous' letter to her friend Helen Anderson ends with, 'It is splendid that you are so unalone'." Amy Key • The Poetry Review
"I was in New York waiting on a platform and it was rush hour, and it was completely silent. People were not saying anything; they were just standing there. Looking at the ground, not doing anything and not talking to each other. If I attempt to give language to this, it is that it all felt apocalyptic. I am looking at this with a deep sense of disappointment." Ladan Osman in conversation with Gaamangwe Joy Mogami • Africa in Dialogue


New poems

A.E. Stallings New Yorker

Truong Tran OmniVerse

Lo Kwa Mei-En jubilat

Nitoo Das Almost Island

Derek Mahon Gallery (pdf)

Carola Luther Fortnightly Review

Janet Kaplan Dusie

Tony Lopez Poetry

Mark Anthony Cayanan Rogue Agent



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The Page is edited by John McAuliffe, Vincenz Serrano and, since September 2013, Evan Jones at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. It was founded in October 2004 by Andrew Johnston, who edited it until October 2009.
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